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Reply 2362 of 2684, by Joseph_Joestar

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Finished Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow. Felt more like an expansion pack for the original game than a true sequel. Voice acting was worse though, except for Sam who is great as always.

Moving on to Chaos Theory now. I remember this being my favorite of the bunch back in the day. Let's see if it still holds up.

Using Audigy drivers with a Sound Blaster Live
Installing DOS drivers on an Audigy2 ZS
OPL3 vs. ESFM vs. CQM vs. SBLive
OPTi 82C930 review

Reply 2363 of 2684, by tomexplodes

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jmarsh wrote on 2020-10-28, 16:12:

Fire at Will? What did Will do to deserve that?

My brother's name is Will, so "Fire at Will" and "through sheer force of Will" have always been jokes between us.

Currently, I'm playing Betrayal at Krondor on my newly EMS'd DOS machine. Such a great game.

1.) Windows 98SE with Unofficial SP3, AMD Athlon 1.3ghz, 768mb RAM, Geforce 4 MX 440 64mb AGP, Sound Blaster Live! Value
2.) MS-DOS 6.22, Pentium 90mhz, 16mb RAM, S3 Trio64, Sound Blaster Pro 2.0

Reply 2364 of 2684, by clueless1

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tomexplodes wrote on 2020-10-28, 17:49:

Currently, I'm playing Betrayal at Krondor on my newly EMS'd DOS machine. Such a great game.

Nice. Me too. How far along are you? I'm still in chapter 1 but getting close to finishing it.

The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.
OPL3 FM vs. Roland MT-32 vs. General MIDI DOS Game Comparison
Let's benchmark our systems with cache disabled
DOS PCI Graphics Card Benchmarks

Reply 2365 of 2684, by tomexplodes

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clueless1 wrote on 2020-10-28, 23:21:
tomexplodes wrote on 2020-10-28, 17:49:

Currently, I'm playing Betrayal at Krondor on my newly EMS'd DOS machine. Such a great game.

Nice. Me too. How far along are you? I'm still in chapter 1 but getting close to finishing it.

Just took care of the Brak Nurr

1.) Windows 98SE with Unofficial SP3, AMD Athlon 1.3ghz, 768mb RAM, Geforce 4 MX 440 64mb AGP, Sound Blaster Live! Value
2.) MS-DOS 6.22, Pentium 90mhz, 16mb RAM, S3 Trio64, Sound Blaster Pro 2.0

Reply 2366 of 2684, by newtmonkey

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Swords & Sorcery - Underworld - DEFINITIVE EDITION

Completed this just now! All in all it took just over 15 hours and I enjoyed every minute. It takes the combat and character advancement of the first two Might & Magic games and stuffs them into the dungeon design of Wizardry V. The interface LOOKS clunky, but it's 100% playable by mouse, keyboard, or a combination of both and it was very smooth to operate once I got used to it.

The game has excellent pacing. Your party levels up quite regularly and each level earns you some points to spend on your attributes. You also gain new spells or combat abilities every few levels, so you're always looking forward to that next level.

By far the best aspect of this game is the design of the dungeon. It's linear like Wizardry V, but you do have to backtrack to solve quests and explore previously inaccessible areas. Each level has its own theme with unique encounters and simple puzzles to solve. There are also three fully-explorable town levels in the dungeon, so you'll often be returning to these to level up and do some shopping.

The final few areas of the game are mostly focused on (simple) environmental puzzles with very little combat. I felt it was a pleasant way for the game to wind down.

Reply 2367 of 2684, by clueless1

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Thanks for the review, newt. Added Swords & Sorcery - Underworld to my Steam wishlist. Too bad it's not on GOG. I particularly like that it's short (you took 15 hrs). I wish more good RPGs were made that were <40 hours as I only have 30-40 hours a month for gaming and when a game drags out for several months it can be taxing.

I'm still less than 18 hours into BaK and nearing the end of Chapter 1. I'm already thinking ahead to the next game I want to play and I believe it may end up being Cybermage. I played a few minutes the other day when I was testing graphics performance between the ARK1000 and CL-GD5430 (my fastest and slowest DOS graphics cards). Interesting result: despite the ARK1000 testing between 30-50% faster in most game benchmarks, there was no discernible difference between the two in Cybermage. SVGA with high textures was too slow on both cards at full screen, but knocking the game window size down by one made it about equally playable on both.

The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.
OPL3 FM vs. Roland MT-32 vs. General MIDI DOS Game Comparison
Let's benchmark our systems with cache disabled
DOS PCI Graphics Card Benchmarks

Reply 2368 of 2684, by xcomcmdr

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I played Cybermage 15 years ago on a Windows 98 PC and I liked it a lot. The only downsides was the penultimate level which is so full of switch puzzles you HAVE to use a walkthrough.
For a long time I thought that I was screwed on that level. No more enemies, but nowhere to go. Turns out, I had to use switches in a certain order and run like hell on the other map to pass a door, and so on.
Not fun for anyone except the designer of the map. That bastard.

I'd recommend playing on a real machine, as FPS suffers in DOSBox with it. It's very playable still, but not ideal. At the time, it required a top of the line Pentium PC to run as smoothly as possible.
Overall the game is very impressive. As a Warren Spector game, it really feels like he was already trying to make Deus Ex.
This wasn't a Doom clone. You had way better graphics, rooms over rooms, dialogues (ok, more like people who monologue to your face), and consequences if you didn't behave with people.
Also it's quite fun to have to run over enemy souls quickly before they disappear to gain more power and health, little by little.
It's quite a long game too, with lots of environnments, which I liked a lot.

The only downside is that there never was a Cybermage comic issue #2. "Coming soon" was a lie !

Reply 2369 of 2684, by appiah4

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Pillars of Eternity
Spent a couple of hours going through the Dyrftwood quests and tasks that I apparently missed in Act I, which also ended up resolving Eder's companion quest somewhat anticlimactically. He is still my favorite companion. The party is all level 8 now, and I replaced Kana with Grieving Mother, whose companion quest I am really interested in pursuing. The strange Orlan druied (Hiervan?) was also an interesting character but I don't see myself using him in the party much. I may eventually replace Durance with him, though. I can't seem to get much out of Priest spells to be honest.

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 2370 of 2684, by Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman

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tomexplodes wrote on 2020-10-28, 17:49:
jmarsh wrote on 2020-10-28, 16:12:

Fire at Will? What did Will do to deserve that?

My brother's name is Will, so "Fire at Will" and "through sheer force of Will" have always been jokes between us.

Will was driving enemy tank. Nothing personal, really.

On serious note, the game's AI has a certain flaw, that a tank will default to cease fire (that is, sitting there like an idiot and completely doing nothing despite under fire) once you leave it and move to another tank. That is, unless you remember setting it to Fire At Will before leaving that tank. If you have programmable joystick, better map that ALT O F commands to an easily accessible button.

Otherwise the AI is pretty solid, enemy and friendly alike.

Never thought this thread would be that long, but now, for something different.....
Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman.

Reply 2371 of 2684, by Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman

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clueless1 wrote on 2020-10-29, 23:46:

I'm still less than 18 hours into BaK and nearing the end of Chapter 1. I'm already thinking ahead to the next game I want to play and I believe it may end up being Cybermage. I played a few minutes the other day when I was testing graphics performance between the ARK1000 and CL-GD5430 (my fastest and slowest DOS graphics cards). Interesting result: despite the ARK1000 testing between 30-50% faster in most game benchmarks, there was no discernible difference between the two in Cybermage. SVGA with high textures was too slow on both cards at full screen, but knocking the game window size down by one made it about equally playable on both.

Never played Cybermage myself, but I remember learning the hard way, that video card speed matters much less than CPU speed when it goes to unaccelerated, texture mapped games in 640x480 resolution and above. I remember purchasing a Matrox Mystique video card, and got disappointed when it failed to make fully textured, 640x480 Jane's ATF run faster on my Pentium 100. I shoulr have spend my money on faster CPU, since most of my favorite flight sims are unaccelerated at that time.

(Well, Longbow FX came out later, but there were, and are never accelerated version of Jane's ATF, Top Gun: Fire At Will, iM1A2 Abrams, and F-22 Lightning II.)

But why not trying DOSBOX? I run Sandwarriors at 640x480 in DOSBOX on my i5 2400 PC with satisfactory result. And unlike Duke Nukem or Shadow Warrior, Sandwarriors is full 3D.

Never thought this thread would be that long, but now, for something different.....
Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman.

Reply 2372 of 2684, by chrismeyer6

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Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote on 2020-10-30, 14:38:
Will was driving enemy tank. Nothing personal, really. […]
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tomexplodes wrote on 2020-10-28, 17:49:
jmarsh wrote on 2020-10-28, 16:12:

Fire at Will? What did Will do to deserve that?

My brother's name is Will, so "Fire at Will" and "through sheer force of Will" have always been jokes between us.

Will was driving enemy tank. Nothing personal, really.

On serious note, the game's AI has a certain flaw, that a tank will default to cease fire (that is, sitting there like an idiot and completely doing nothing despite under fire) once you leave it and move to another tank. That is, unless you remember setting it to Fire At Will before leaving that tank. If you have programmable joystick, better map that ALT O F commands to an easily accessible button.

Otherwise the AI is pretty solid, enemy and friendly alike.

That game looks familiar what is the name of it?

Reply 2373 of 2684, by Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman

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chrismeyer6 wrote on 2020-10-30, 15:03:

That game looks familiar what is the name of it?

iM1A2 Abrams; a non-accelerated, texture mapped Windows game. And yes, you can run it on Windows 7 64-bit.

Never thought this thread would be that long, but now, for something different.....
Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman.

Reply 2374 of 2684, by creepingnet

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Getting back into the original "The Sims" on the Dell Dimension 3000 Pentium 4 system I just built out. Have about 2GB worth of objects as a few years ago I started hoarding them on an external HDD as the stuff I like to you was REALLY hard to get.

~The Creeping Network~
My Website - https://sites.google.com/site/thecreepingnetwork/home
My Youtube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/creepingnet

Reply 2375 of 2684, by chrismeyer6

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Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote on 2020-10-30, 15:15:
chrismeyer6 wrote on 2020-10-30, 15:03:

That game looks familiar what is the name of it?

iM1A2 Abrams; a non-accelerated, texture mapped Windows game. And yes, you can run it on Windows 7 64-bit.

Excellent thank you.

Reply 2376 of 2684, by chrismeyer6

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creepingnet wrote on 2020-10-30, 15:18:

Getting back into the original "The Sims" on the Dell Dimension 3000 Pentium 4 system I just built out. Have about 2GB worth of objects as a few years ago I started hoarding them on an external HDD as the stuff I like to you was REALLY hard to get.

The original sims was a blast my wife still plays it. She likes it better than the rest of them and we own all of them but she keeps going back to the original.

Reply 2377 of 2684, by creepingnet

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chrismeyer6 wrote on 2020-10-30, 15:29:
creepingnet wrote on 2020-10-30, 15:18:

Getting back into the original "The Sims" on the Dell Dimension 3000 Pentium 4 system I just built out. Have about 2GB worth of objects as a few years ago I started hoarding them on an external HDD as the stuff I like to you was REALLY hard to get.

The original sims was a blast my wife still plays it. She likes it better than the rest of them and we own all of them but she keeps going back to the original.

My wife was part of the reason I installed it. She loves that one the most as well. In recent years she's been getting more and more into gaming with me on various systems. I also was kind of missing it. I spent hours building houses, businesses, and updating the lots to look like real towns. I need to get my hands on the old copy of Sims Explorer too to make all objects availible in build/buy mode since I like to build some weird stuff (guitar shops, video arcades, etc).

~The Creeping Network~
My Website - https://sites.google.com/site/thecreepingnetwork/home
My Youtube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/creepingnet

Reply 2378 of 2684, by newtmonkey

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clueless1 wrote on 2020-10-29, 23:46:

Thanks for the review, newt. Added Swords & Sorcery - Underworld to my Steam wishlist. Too bad it's not on GOG. I particularly like that it's short (you took 15 hrs). I wish more good RPGs were made that were <40 hours as I only have 30-40 hours a month for gaming and when a game drags out for several months it can be taxing.

I'm still less than 18 hours into BaK and nearing the end of Chapter 1. I'm already thinking ahead to the next game I want to play and I believe it may end up being Cybermage. I played a few minutes the other day when I was testing graphics performance between the ARK1000 and CL-GD5430 (my fastest and slowest DOS graphics cards). Interesting result: despite the ARK1000 testing between 30-50% faster in most game benchmarks, there was no discernible difference between the two in Cybermage. SVGA with high textures was too slow on both cards at full screen, but knocking the game window size down by one made it about equally playable on both.

That's great clueless1, I think you'd enjoy S&S for the 15 hours it lasts. The author attempted to get it on GOG but they turned him down sadly.

I'm interested in hearing your thoughts on Cybermage when you get around to it. I've never played it and although it's not an RPG I do know that it was designed by D.W. Bradley of Wizardry V-VII fame! Should be interesting.

---

Tonight I played:
Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones
This is a party-based RPG with turn-based combat based on the writings of H.P. Lovecraft. If I was to compare it to something else I've played, I guess I'd compare it to Fallout. It's heavily focused on building a certain type of character, and then completing quests (through dialog and combat) using the skills you've tagged for your build. It seems to have a lot of reactivity to your particular build, but it's too early to tell for sure; it might just be smoke and mirrors. The combat is both better and worse than that of Fallout. It's better in that you have complete control of your companions and combat is far less dependent on critical hits. It's worse in that it takes WAY TOO LONG with no option to speed the very long animations up. The simplest of combats can take 10 minutes of your time; these long combats are fine in a very tactical games like X-COM, Jagged Alliance, or Tactics Ogre, but nearly unforgivable in an RPG.

The presentation is fantastic. Backgrounds have an "illustration" look that is somewhat reminiscent of the original Addam's Family comic. The soundtrack is similarly excellent. The writing, though, is a mixed bag. It's often evocative and mercifully terse, but tends to overuse cussing as a kind of shorthand to characterize gangsters.

Overall, as a huge fan of both Fallout and the writings of H.P. Lovecraft, I'm enjoying it.

Reply 2379 of 2684, by clueless1

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Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote on 2020-10-30, 15:00:

Never played Cybermage myself, but I remember learning the hard way, that video card speed matters much less than CPU speed when it goes to unaccelerated, texture mapped games in 640x480 resolution and above. I remember purchasing a Matrox Mystique video card, and got disappointed when it failed to make fully textured, 640x480 Jane's ATF run faster on my Pentium 100. I shoulr have spend my money on faster CPU, since most of my favorite flight sims are unaccelerated at that time.

That was kind of my point. 😀 As much as I love benchmarking PCI graphics cards in DOS, in all practicality, you probably won't get any gameplay-altering results. VGA games are usually already fast enough on the slowest graphics cards, while SVGA games are CPU-bound even on the fastest graphics cards.

As for playing it on DOSBox, IMO that platform is a great alternative if you don't have real hardware, but real hardware feels better, warts and all. Especially playing on a CRT.

The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.
OPL3 FM vs. Roland MT-32 vs. General MIDI DOS Game Comparison
Let's benchmark our systems with cache disabled
DOS PCI Graphics Card Benchmarks